Madrid, March 18 (IANS) Athletic Club Bilbao’s veteran striker Aritz Adruiz finally got his reward for his excellent football season when he was called into Spain’s squad for the forthcoming friendly matches against Italy and Romania.
The 35-year-old, who on Friday scored his 31st goal of the season to help Bilbao qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, has earned the chance to try and book a place for the squad that will compete in this summer’s European Championship and to add to the solitary cap he earned in 2010, reports Xinhua.
Aduriz is called into the squad along with Valencia striker Paco Alcacer and Juventus’ Alvaro Morata, although there is no place for controversial Chelsea forward Diego Costa, who was sent off last weekend as Chelsea lost in the FA Cup to Everton.
Head coach Vicente del Bosque insisted he had not left the Brazilian-born striker out of his squad because of issues with his temperament, but because of “health issues,” while Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta is also out with a muscle problem.
Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto is the only new face in the 25-man squad which sees del Bosque keep faith with central defenders Marc Bartra and Nacho Fernandez, despite them not featuring regularly for Barcelona and Real Madrid this season.
Overall the squad points to there being few surprises for June with other young players, such as Arsenal full back Hector Bellerin, probably having to wait until after the summer before they get their chance.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Sergio Rico, David De Gea.
Defenders: Juanfran Torres, Mario Gaspar, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marc Bartra, Nacho Fernandez, Jordi Alba , Cesar Azpilicueta.
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Mikel San Jose, Sergi Roberto, Koke, Cesc Fabrigas, Thiago Alcantara, Isco, Pedro Rodriguez, Juan Mata, David Silva.
Forwards: Nolito, Aritz Aduriz, Alvaro Morata, Paco Alcacer.